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|Sponsors Speak — Nancy & Bill’s Story|
In the early years of our marriage, we desired to be involved with children who could accept our love, even from afar. In a second marriage, my husband had three children from his prior marriage and I entered the marriage childless. Not choosing to have late-in-life children, we desired children we could share together. We chose ICC as a means of loving children who had equal attachments to us both. We both cherished a niece who had been adopted from Guatemala through ICC and we knew of the wonderful work the Flecks were doing with orphan care.
We began our sponsorship journey with a little girl in India. She was a preschooler with a beautiful capacity to love. She sent us the most loving and precious drawings and letters, always calling herself ‘our daughter’ That touched a place in our hearts that needed filling. We could send her simple gifts, but mostly pictures of our home and life in a place far from her imagination. She always responded in the most thoughtful ways.
As she grew, we traveled into her world as well through her letters and drawings. She had siblings, house parents, school, pets, gardens to talk about. She always promised to pray for us. We were enamored with each communication we had with her, coveted the pictures we were sent, swelled with pride in her accomplishments.
She has now graduated from high school. It has been the most marvelous journey of love. We long for the day we can meet our dear daughter in person. She has filled our hearts with so many memories through the years.
Somewhere along the sponsorship trail, we decided it was time to expand our family. We chose a ‘child’ from Mexico this time, thinking it would be fun to communicate in a foreign language, in a place that someday we might more easily visit. We were first ‘given’ a girl near the age of our ‘daughter’ in India. It was fun to think of them as ‘sisters’ through us.
We rejoiced when we were notified that our Hispanic child had been reunited with her siblings, but, then bittersweet joy came when we found that she had an aunt and uncle who wanted to claim all the siblings. She left ICC, but not our hearts.
As with all losses, our hearts were soon filled with another little one from El Oasis. She was a jewel who had so much to conquer. We were touched again by her early history and so grateful to be able to help her as she adjusted to life in a new home with siblings and structure.
As God would ordain, a diagnosis of cancer led us to Mexico for treatment. Being so close, we had the unforgettable experience of spending a week at El Oasis, with our precious, shy girl and all her companions. Our hearts just overflowed with the love of all the children, and, that one moment when we knew that our little one recognized us as the ones who had sent her cards and little gifts. The look on her face will always thrill us.
We felt so privileged to see ICC up close and personal. We came away with love for each and every child, house parents, administrator and especially the founders who had the vision of real homes for children in need.
Again, our hearts desired more, so this time we chose another continent. ICC had just entered Africa with a home base on an island in the Congo. Our imaginations both remembered mission stories from our past, relatives who had served in Africa, and mostly the faces on the news of children who had nowhere to go.
Our son came from tragedy, but, again, we have seen him mature into a handsome young man in an environment of care. We have a bit less communication because of the turmoil of conditions in Africa, but, each letter, each picture is treasured as we hear of his gratitude, accomplishment and goals. In each Qué Pasa report on Congo, we search the faces for our boy, we delight when we pick him out of the crowd.
We now have three teenagers through ICC, loved, trained and preparing for a life much beyond their imaginations when they first arrived ‘Home.’ We feel so fortunate to have been able to support them, love them, write them and always pray for them. We have gained as much in return, knowing they are loving us, thinking of us, treasuring our pictures and cards, and praying for us each day as well.
Sponsorship with ICC is a blessed two-way street. We gain as much, many times more, than we give. We long for the day when all of us, from every continent, can be reunited in Heaven to rejoice in Eternity together. May that Day be soon!
Nancy & Bill Pellow
International Children's Care is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, USA. We can be reached by phone at 800.422.7729 between 8 am and 5 pm Pacific Time. Our address is: 2711 NE 134th Way, Vancouver, WA. 98986. Our general email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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